Must See: The (Minstrel) Dance Theatre

By Malena Amusa Mar 01, 2007

…A Lesson in Minstrel History… Two Black men, dressed in black face, lipstick, and wigs, danced around on stage, singing old odes to Mammy and dixie kitchen songs from America’s darkest era of comedy–the Minstrel period. During the two-man show "The Dance", now playing in New York, Jason Christophe White and Aaron White, chronicled the performance of minstrelsy, a comedic forum where artists paint their faces a black tar and act-out exaggerated stereotypes of Black people. They go from its early American origins when minstrelsy was mostly performed by whites to its contemporary and more subversive continuation in Hip-Hop music and Black comedy. First, this show is mind blowing in its accuracy. These two men capture well the sound and sight of early American minstrel shows that made blacks the perpetual butt of their jokes. But most profound is how "The Dance" satirizes popular black forums today that recycle the racist minstrel depictions of the Black Male Stud, the Hot-Blooded Jezebel and the warm Mammy in its music and performances. This Must-See show will run to March 3, 2007 at the Richmond Shepard Theatre @ 309 East 26 St. in NYC. Learn More.